New Year’s Eve in Chicago

It was my first time in United States and I was flying there to meet up my family that was flying from Brazil. Because I live in Berlin and they in Sao Paulo, we arranged a trip to Chicago, so we could spend the New Year’s Eve together. Since my first step inside the city I was stunned. If you are like me, crazy for big and noisy cities, full of skyscrapers, cars, people and life you are gonna fall in love at the first sight.

chicago-bean
The Chicago Giant Bean, surrounded by skyscrapers. How to not fall in love with it?

While walking in Chicago I was really amazed by everything (except the prices). I had no plan on what seeing first. Actually I didn’t even research too much before going. I decided I would adventure myself through the city and simply look around. Because my family would arrive just two days later, I had plenty of time to explore the city before them. First day I went straight to the hotel, which was pretty central and pretty amazing – I highly recommend them! Afterwards I went to walk around the city centre and very soon was night, I could enjoy the city lights and the next day I could see all again with the day light. Both were magnificent experiences.

My family arrived on my second morning, right before breakfast. By the way, talking about it, I fell in love with their breakfast on the first day, but on the last one I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. My explanation is pretty simple: until I get used to the jetlag, breakfast was almost dinner for me. Berlin time is 6 hours earlier, so I needed a bit of time to my stomach realise that it was too much fat for mornings.

american-bf

It was really unbelievable to have my family around in Chicago and the coolest thing we did together was going on the top of Willis Tower (previous Sears Tower), the biggest building in America before the launching of the New World Trade Centre. This building has a glass balcony 413 meters away from the floor, the Skydeck. We had to collect some guts to step on it, but it was the greatest experience ever!

willis-tower

We were also absolutely lucky! The day before, when I was alone, I couldn’t see not even half of the hight from the buildings, due to the fog (image below). The day we went to Skydeck was a blue and clean sky.

fog-chicago

Before our travel, my sister provided to all of us the Chicago CityPass, it is a block of tickets that has included on its price 5 attractions and all free of waiting line. In the beginning I thought it wasn’t necessary, because who would go to Chicago, during the winter time (this means negative temperatures and snow) and during New Year’s Eve? Most of people’d rather go to warmer destinations. Even though, the Pass saved us on waiting on the long lines in the cold. Couldn’t thank her more for that!


Well, so, our 5 attractions were all pretty cool. The coolest one was the Skydeck (like mentioned before) and the others were The Field Museum of Natural History, which was amazing full of dinosaurs, stuffed animals and even an amazing section talking about the north american indians, really impressive. The Museum of Science and Industry was also a picked attraction and we couldn’t be more impressed! It’s perfect for school time, but amazing from grown people also. The Adler Planetarium was a great experience! With the Chicago Pass we could even watch some extra shows that would be charged separately, but we got for free! The least cool one was the Shedd Aquarium. If you have already visited some Aquariums around the world, this one will not impress you that much. If we had payed separately each attraction, the total would have been around US$ 153,00, with the pass you pay only U$ 98,00. So, worth it a lot! This pass exists for several destinations, check yours before you go! 😉


The big event was actually the New Year’s Eve party! It happened at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. It was a Gala Party with all drinks and food included in the ticket price (that are not low, by the way). The place was huge and we stayed at the upper part, so we could watch the dance stage from the top. The music was all by a DJ and to tell you the truth, I missed a bit of a band playing live and also heavier food. They offered basically snacks and we were expecting more the dinner type. At least we had free Prosecco all night long. The midnight countdown happens inside the Ballroom and no one is invited to go outside, where the Firework show starts right when the bell rings midnight. We watched through our window, because we had no clue how to get outside. Better to not miss it from the inside than miss it just trying to find the way.

The party went through the night and we went to our beds.

Date of our visit to Chicago: 25.12.2015 to 02.01.2016